THE recent by-elections in Balochistan, despite some incidents of violence, portrayed a positive image of the province as far as the democratic consciousness among the masses is concerned. The turnout rose to 60 per cent compared to around 45pc previously. In contrast, the recent turnout in Karachi was insignificant.

Despite being blighted by a plethora of unresolved issues, Balochistan managed to hold successful by-elections. It is an undeniable fact that the people of Balochistan firmly believe in upholding democratic values as a means to bring about a change in the pathetic conditions in which life has been sustained in the province for decades.

The few incidents of violence, though regrettable, were nothing compared to the intense clashes and firing that marked the by-polls in Karachi even though the city has a high literacy rate and enjoys facilities that people in Balochistan can only dream of.

In terms of electoral turnout and the desire to bring about a change through the ballot, the political acumen of Balochistan and its people deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated. Despite being portrayed as a backward, semi-literate province, the voters in Balochistan have proved that they uphold democratic values.

Ahsanullah Mengal
Hub

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2022

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